Homophobic tweets claimed to have been sent by one of the brothers involved in Jussie Smollet’s alleged attack have emerged.
According to The Blast, the tweets—which date back to 2013—were allegedly sent by Ola Osundairo, who, along with his brother Abel, was implicated in the racist and homophobic attack in Chicago last month.
Smollett was later accused of staging the attack and was arrested and charged with filing a false police report of a hate crime on February 20. The brothers, who say they helped Smollett fabricate the incident, are said to be co-operating with the prosecution as witnesses.
“Why you following Frank Ocean … you know that n***a a gay right,” one tweet allegedly sent by Ola Osundairo reads.
Another tweet reads, “YOU’RE GAY THAT’S WHO YOU ARE.”
Jussie Smollett: the alleged attack
Smollett claims that two men cornered him at around 2am in Chicago on January 29.
He said the men attacked him verbally, calling him a “f****t” and “n****r,” while covering him in bleach and tying a noose around his neck.
Smollett also claims they shouted, “this is MAGA country!”
The incident sparked national outrage, and a search for the guilty parties.
OMG!! THIS is why the LGBTQ community continue to fight to be seen and PROTECTED against hate!
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 29, 2019
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
Presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Cory Booker seized on the event to urge Congress to pass their federal anti-lynching bill.
Lynching is a dark and despicable part of our nation’s history, yet it is still not a federal hate crime. Passing a federal anti-lynching law must be a priority for this new Congress.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 31, 2019
Despite 200 attempts to pass similar legislation over 100 years, lynching is still not a federal crime in the U.S.
Jussie Smollett: questions surrounding the case
The Osundairo brothers were arrested and subsequently released February 15 without being charged with a crime.
“We are not racist, we are not homophobic and we are not anti-Trump,” they said in a statement.
Here are the two Nigerian brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo who are at the center of the LGBT incident that happened in Chicago involving Jussie Smollett pic.twitter.com/iXzvk5Fcbu
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) February 15, 2019
Police said they had questions surrounding a $3,500 cheque Smollett had made out to the brothers.
Ola and Abel Osundairo claim the cheque—dated six days before the alleged incident—was a downpayment for the attack.
Smollett maintains it was for a “5 week nutrition/ workout programme.”
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Chicago police have said Smollett staged the incident because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on the TV show Empire.
Empire: the show must go on
Actor Terrence Howard, who plays the father of Smollett’s character on Empire, expressed support for his fellow cast member.
He posted a video of Smollett holding a laughing baby with the message: “All your lil homies got you… We love the hell outta you.”
The post came a day after Empire producers announced that Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon, would be removed from the final two episodes of the season.
They said they made the move “to avoid further disruption on the set.”